19/05/2015 10:20 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

How Safe Is Maggi Noodles? MSG Content Sparks Lively Debate On Everyone's Favourite Snack

Maggi Noodles Rice Mania, Chili Chow. The peas and sliced chicken sausages are my improvisation ;-)Maggi noodles have been the staple of millions of Indian households when it comes to fast-cook food. Thinking of the number of resident scholars (aka hostellers), working people and snackers who turn to Maggi noodles for the most awesome 2-minute food available is mind boggling.I've always respected Nestle's skill in making processed and semi-processed foods and the introduction of wheat flour and rice noodles (not to forget Lean Cuisine) takes that respect up a few notches.Featured chopsticks graciously provided by teemus.

NEW DELHI — To the Indians living away from home at college hostels and bachelor pads, we're sorry to ruin your day.

According to a report by The Times of India, India's favourite snack Maggi noodles has come under regulatory scanner as some of its collected samples from Uttar Pradesh contained monosodium glutamate (MSG) in high quantities. TOI reported that the test results showed Maggi contained 17 parts per million lead (PPM) of MSG, whereas the permissible limit is 0.01 PPM.

Health experts said such additives can be harmful for health -- particularly for small children. The temporary side-effects of the chemical can include, nausea, headaches, burning sensation of the mouth and neck, an upset stomach and weakness in the body, reported MensXp.

"My 11-month-old nephew doesn't like to eat most solid or liquid foods, but slurps away the Maggi noodles with a loud noise," a Reddit user shared on an open discussion thread.

Nestle (the brand which produces Maggi), however denied these reports.

"We do not add MSG to Maggi Noodles, and glutamate, if present, may come from naturally occurring sources. We are surprised with the content supposedly found in the sample as we monitor the lead content regularly as a part of the regulatory requirements. All the tests at our own accredited laboratories as well as those by independent external accredited laboratories have consistently shown the results to be well within the permissible limit," a Nestle spokesperson told TOI.

Most Indians, however, who've grown up eating the beloved ramen, would be horrified at the idea of there being a ban on their favourite snack, as some reports seem to be suggesting.

Despite all the nostalgia, however, there were the usual jokers on Twitter:

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of the common amino acid glutamic acid, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website. Glutamic acid is naturally present in our bodies, and in many foods and food additives and

MSG occurs naturally in many foods, such as tomatoes and cheeses, the FAQ page on the site said.

However, those panicking about the MSG content in Maggi should note that the site said "FDA considers the addition of MSG to foods to be “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). Although many people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, in studies with such individuals given MSG or a placebo, scientists have not been able to consistently trigger reactions."

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